ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Claflin University is breaking ground on a new student center. The university is investing $30 million into this project.
“We are excited that we now have the opportunity to see this come into fruition," said university president Dwuan J. Warmack.
Warmack says a new student center has been two and a half years in the making. It will include a bookstore, esports gaming lounge, and conference rooms. But what people seem to be most excited about is a new movie theater which is something they feel the county needs.
“Currently in Orangeburg, there’s not a movie theater, nor a bowling alley, in the entire county and so to be able to put a movie theater in here, to be able to provide a need to the community. But it also becomes a living room for the campus," said Warmack.
The current student center is 35 years old. Students say this new facility will have more to offer. It is going to be 80,000 square feet.
“It’s not really a gathering space. It’s not really a lot of areas for students to just come, sit, and enjoy the space so I’m hoping that this new space will be that for students in the future," said student Lauren Tolbert, "I think not only just for Claflin students but also for elementary school students, middle school students, high school students."
According to Warmack, the new student center will also house multiple national retail stores. The university is currently considering potential partnerships. Construction is expected to begin on April 4. The student center is scheduled to open in June 2023.